This article was originally published on JustStarz
While people think being an actor is all fun and games, it can be a pretty dangerous job. While there are stunt people on the set, actors still have to perform some of the dangerous scenes on their own, and it's no laughing matter. Most stunts are thoroughly planned, but mistakes happen, and injures are more common than you think. From Isla Fisher almost drowning to Tom Cruise breaking his leg, these actors have almost lost it all, but they luckily recovered to tell their death-defying tales. You would think this would scare them out of acting, but this only makes them come back for more.
Kate Winslet Almost Drowned During Titanic
Ironically enough, Kate Winslet almost drowned during the filming of Titanic. The second half of the movie is a whirlwind of people screaming, pushing each other, and jumping overboard as the massive ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and one of those people is Kate Winslet's character, Rose.
While her character didn't drown in the film, Winslet almost did while filming. During the scene where Jack and Rose get into the elevator, as it fills with water, Winslet's coat got caught in the elevator gate. Luckily, the crew got her unstuck before the water level was too high.
Daniel Craig Almost Scarred His Face
Craig has a long history of injuries while playing James Bond. In the movie Spectre, he sprained his knee during a fight scene, causing production to be delayed. However, it resumed once his injury healed within a few weeks.
On the set of the movie, Quantum of Solace, Craig had to get eight stitches after an on-set collision caused cuts to the actor's face. Craig had to get plastic surgery for his cuts so they wouldn't permanently damage his money maker.
Margaret Hamilton Received Second-Degree Burns
As one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz is sassy, green, and slightly terrifying, but she knows how to make an exit with a red spark and smoke.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, one of the flares used for the witch's exit had a bad reaction to the petroleum in her green makeup. This resulted in a fire causing Hamilton to get second and third-degree burns on her hands and face. So much for her melting by water being thrown in her face.
Diana Kruger Passed Out On Set
In Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, Diana Kruger really showed off her acting chops, playing a film student turned allied spy, Bridget Von Hammersmar. In one scene, Kruger went above and beyond anything an actor should be expected to do without a stand-in.
In the scene, Kruger's character is choked by one of the bad guys who discovers she's a spy, and the person playing this faceless man was Quentin Tarantino himself. He must have gotten really into the scene because he actually choked her to the point where she passed out on set.
Gerard Butler Was Almost Taken Out By A Wave
When movie scenes are filmed in the ocean, a lot can go wrong because it is a powerful force that can't be controlled. While Gerard Butler was filming Chasing Mavericks, Butler was taken down by what people describe as a 30-foot wave.
The wave threw Butler around to the point where he nearly drowned. While he was being thrown around in the ocean, the only thing he could think about was the film crew above the water watching this happen.
Channing Tatum Had Boiling Water Poured Down His Pants
In the movie The Eagle, actors were preparing to shoot a scene where they go into a freezing cold river in the Scottish Highlands. To keep him warm, a crew member poured boiling water into Channing Tatum's wardrobe, burning the skin off the tip of his unmentionable member.
The crew member thought it would help that actor warm up in the freezing water but took it a few steps too far. In an interview after his recovery, Tatum said that he was in so much pain on the way to the hospital that he actually asked the ambulance driver to knock him out because he couldn't stand the pain.
Jackie Chan Broke His Back
Well, here is an actor who had his fair share of injures on the set. Jackie Chan's injuries during the years can be an assignment for an anatomy student because it seems like every part of his body got broken or hurt in some way during filming.
While filming Police Story, Chan was supposed to do a stunt where he jumps from a roof and slides down a pole. However, the stunt ended with him breaking his back and dislocating his pelvis. This certainly wasn't the only one of his stunts that went horribly wrong.
Jennifer Lawrence Suffocated Because Of A Smoke Machine
One of Jennifer Lawrence's most iconic roles was Katiness Everdeen in the Hunger Games movies. The character is a fighter and survives the Hunger Games more than once. For Lawrence, portraying the character was not easy because of the complicated stunts.
During filming, one of the smoke machines malfunctioned during a tunnel scene, causing too much fog for Lawrence to handle. She was still inside the tunnel when the malfunction happened, and she started choking to the point where she was nauseous and dizzy. The crew had to rescue her.
Jeremy Renner Broke Both His Arms Playing Tag
In July 2017, after filming for only three days, actor Jeremy Renner broke both of his arms on the set of the movie Tag. Renner, who is an experienced action star, surprised the crew with this injury.
However, we can't blame Renner for this accident. After all, The movie Tag is a comedy about a bunch of guys playing tag, and as we all know from our childhood, it can be a ruthless game.
Ellen Burstyn Suffered A Serious Back Injury
The Exorcist was a terrifying movie that caused viewers to have physical reactions like fainting or vomiting, so you can imagine how hard the move was to film. As the demon's mother, Ellen Burstyn, is pushed across the room with great force, which was really a crew member pulling her by a wire wrapped around her waist.
Unfortunately, the crew member pulled Burstyn's waist a little too hard, causing her to hit the ground with so much force that she injured her lower back permanently. We wonder if that crew member got in trouble for causing her everlasting pain.
Brendan Fraser's Hanging Blacked Out During A Scene
There are many dangerous stunts in The Mummy, one of which shows Brendan Fraser's character meeting his end at the gallows early in the film. Unfortunately, Fraser's stunt didn't go as planned, even though it was fine for the stuntman.
After Fraser's stuntman finished his part of the gallows scene, the crew needed a close-up of Fraser's face, so he stepped in. However, the rope was too tight around his neck, and he blacked out. In an interview, Fraser said he was "fully choked out," and it was scary.
Angelina Jolie Got Cut During A "Ridiculously Easy Scene"
Angelina Jolie took a permanent souvenir home from filming the movie Salt. She sliced her face just above her nose during what she called "a ridiculously easy scene. "She tumbled into a doorway with a gun and ended up rolling onto the floor.
In an interview about the movie, Jolie said that she bled and was left with a little scar to remind her of the movie.
Daryl Hannah's Elbow Went Through A Window
When Daryl Hannah played Pris in Blade Runner, she not only got her big break in the entertainment industry but also almost severely injured herself. In the scene, Hannah is running on wet pavement and is supposed to slip and fall into a van.
Unfortunately, Hannah didn't fall directly into the van and instead fell into the van's window. Her elbow went through the glass and chipped her bone in eight places. According to the actress, she still has a scar where the stitches were.
Tom Cruise Famously Broke His Ankle
When it comes to stunts, Tom Cruise is one actor who never holds back, and he likes to do most of his own stunts. But there are times when things don't go as planned, even for this seasoned professional. During the filming of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Cruise miscalculated a stunt, and it didn't end well.
He was jumping from one rooftop to another, and Cruise accidentally hit his ankle on the side of the building, causing it to break. In an interview, Cruise said he immediately knew it was broken, but he still wanted to try the stunt again, so he got up and carried on.
Halle Berry Slammed Her Head Into A Concrete Floor
In 2012, Halle Berry performed a fight scene with a stunt man on the set of The Call, when her head slammed onto the concrete floor, knocking her out. Berry was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a minor head injury.
Berry had also broken her right foot while filming the movie Cloud Atlas in Mallorca, and on the set of the movie Gothica, Robert Doweny Jr. twisted her arm the wrong way, and it snapped. Let's hope that she has excellent insurance for her next film.
Sean Bean Got A Permanent Scar
In Patriot Games, Sean Bean's character has a habit of getting into fights. However, one fight scene left him with a permanent mark that would remind him of the movie for the rest of his career. During the scene, Bean and Harrison Ford's character get into a physical altercation on a speedboat.
In the heat of the moment, Ford accidentally hit Bean's face with a boating hook. The hit was hard enough to leave a gash on his face. The cut resulted in a scar that actually works for him because he usually plays a tough character.
Robert Downey Jr.'s Injuries Delayed Filming
Robert Downey Jr. sprained his ankle while performing a wire-rigged stunt on Ironman 3 set. Downey's injury caused a massive delay in production due to a six-week break for recovery that the doctor prescribed.
The producers found a way to shoot Downey's scenes without him actually being there. They used a face replacement and a body double to create his scenes. You can watch the scenes that were shot after the accident in the final sequence on the beach.
Isla Fisher Almost Drowned
Isla Fisher was filming a water chamber escape scene in 2013 when she nearly drowned. The actress was shackled in the tank when something went horribly wrong, holding her underwater for nearly three minutes.
Fisher said that the crew on the set did not realize that she was stuck and thought she was just acting. She eventually hit a quick-release switch, and a stuntman helped her escape.
Jason Statham Drove A Truck Into The Black Sea
Jason Statham was driving a truck during a scene in the movie The Expendables 3 when the truck's brakes failed. He went straight into the Black Sea and nearly drowned. All was well at the end, and Statham managed to escape the three-ton sinking truck.
Statham said it was the closest that he ever been to drowning. He also joked and said that maybe Sylvester Stallone had something to do with the brakes, to which Stallone probably replied, " Don't be a princess."
Uma Thurman Was Almost Hit By A Van
In Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Theif, Percy Jackson wasn't the only one trying to get Uma Thurman's character, Medusa. In the middle of a scene, one of the vans began to roll downhill directly towards Thurman.
Thankfully, Pierce Brosnan was also on the scene of this movie to save the day again. He jumped into the moving van and slammed on the brakes moments before it hit Thurman. He was considered a real hero for the rest of filming.
Brandon Lee Died From A Movie Injury
One of the most tragic accidents that ever occurred in the film industry was the one that took the life of actor Brandon Lee on the set of the movie The Crow in 1993. Lee was hit mistakenly by a loaded handgun from close range after thinking the gun was unloaded. In the original scene, actor Michael Massee was to shoot Lee when he arrived home carrying groceries.
The .44 Magnum used in the scene wasn't adequately cleaned after being used in a prior scene; therefore, when Massee used it, he didn't know that there is a bullet in the weapon. Lee was shot in the abdomen and taken to the hospital, where he died from his injury.
Lorenza Izzo Was Swept Down The Amazon River
Although Lorenza Izzo is supposed to be playing someone surrounded by cannibals in The Green Inferno, that wasn't the scariest part of filming. During one scene, Izzo almost drowned when she was swept down the Amazon River.
In one scene, Izzo wakes up on a canoe with the cannibals and jumps in the river to escape. However, the current was too powerful, and it almost pulled Izzo under. No one realized she wasn't acting, and her screams went on for a few minutes before the crew rescued her.
Paul Walker Tore His ACL On Set
In the 2013 car crash, Walker's death overshadows any previous injury, but on the set of Fast & Furious 6, Walker tore his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) while performing a stunt.
Walker and his friend Roger Rodas were killed when their car crashed into a light pole and a tree during a test drive in Valencia. Walker had finished the majority of his scenes in Fast & Furious 7 before he died. His brothers Caleb and Cody filled in for the remaining scenes.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Biked Into A Cab
With the premise of a character literally riding a bike through New York City traffic, you would assume the actor knows how to ride a bike. However, Joseph Gordon-Levitt didn't know what he was doing in Premium Rush.
While filming one of his scenes, Gordon-Levitt accidentally collided with a taxi, resulting in a horrible gash on his arm. He needed 30 stitches, and it's a good thing he didn't land on his head because his injuries would have been much worse.
Leonardo DiCaprio Got Too Friendly With A Glass Table
During a dinner scene in the movie Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio slammed his hand down on a glass table and cut his hand. Even though he was bleeding severely, DiCaprio stayed in character, finished his scene, and even added value.
His co-star Jaime Foxx was shocked that DiCaprio continued the scene after his injury and said it was terrific to see DiCaprio so into his character that even when the director said 'cut,' He was still this guy. A true actor indeed.
Sylvester Stallone Had To Get A Metal Piece In His Back
The set of the Expendables movies were filled with injuries. Stallone, for example, landed on his back, sustaining a "backblast" during an action scene, and had to have metal pieces put in his back.
But Stallone is an action veteran and is used to getting hurt on set. In a recent interview, he said while filming Rambo and The Expendables, he broke his neck and his spine and dislocated both shoulders. Just another day in the office for Stallone.
Halle Berry Choked On A Fig
Considering Halle Berry has been injured in many other ways while filming, this was probably the lamest "stunt" gone wrong she has experienced. While filming Die Another Day, the actress was supposed to be seducing James Bond, but it went like most of our first dates; horribly wrong.
During the scene, Halle Berry started choking on the fig, which was supposed to be the object of seduction. Pierce Brosnan came to the actress's rescue by performing the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged it from her windpipe. She probably never at figs again.
Meryl Streep Fell Into An Icy River
Meryl Streep is one of the best actresses in the business, and during the filming of The Wild River, she pushed her body to its limits. The Academy Award-winning actress did a majority of her own stunts, including one that she wasn't prepared for.
During the last stunt the director asked Streep to perform, she fell into the icy river and got sucked to the bottom. Thankfully her co-star Kevin Bacon was there to save the day. He pulled her out of the water to safety, and she was extremely grateful.
Brad Pitt Tore His Achilles While Playing A Character Named Achilles
While playing Achilles in 2004's Troy, Brad Pitt actually ruptured his Achilles tendon after he landed the wrong way. It was a serious injury that delayed the shooting for three months while Pitt's leg recovered.
Despite the actor's and crew's efforts, Troy was a big disappointment in the box office and sent Pitt to make different decisions in his career, hopefully, safer ones.
Sylvester Stallone Wound Up In The Hospital For A Week
It's not a secret that Sylvester Stallone takes his role as Rocky pretty seriously because the franchise is what made him famous. Therefore, there is nothing Stallone wouldn't do for the perfect fight scene, even if that sends him to the hospital.
Stallone wanted to make the fight look as realistic as possible, so he told his on-screen enemy to actually punch him in the face. The actor listened, and Stallone ended up in the hospital for a week. You can't fault his partner because Stall
Arnold Schwarzenegger Barely Recovered Before Being Injured Again
After Schwarzenegger wrapped up shooting for The Expendables, he had to get over a shoulder injury. The grueling and stunt-filled film put a lot of wear and tear on the veteran action star.
While shooting The Last Stand in 2013, Schwarzenegger got a nasty gash on his forehead during an action scene, but other than that, it looks like Schwarzenegger is pretty resilient.
Hilary Swank Got Hit In The Head With Suspenders
This injury was the most unexpected one considering it wasn't even on the set of an action film. In the rom-com P.S. I Love You, Hillary Swank plays alongside Gerard Butler, and in one of the scenes, he accidentally hit her in the head with his suspenders, resulting in her needing stitches.
This 2007 film was shot mainly in Ireland, and other than this minor accident, no actor or sheep were injured during the shooting.
George Clooney Had To Get Surgery After He Hit His Head
Surprisingly, George Clooney's injury during the movie Syriana didn't happen when he was being beaten up. We're not entirely sure because he was tied to a chair, and it was him going through the motions instead of a stunt double. However, during this scene, he did make a mistake.
While being "beaten up," Clooney accidentally knocked over his chair while he was still tied to it and hit his head on the cement floor. It was so hard that he got a concussion and had lasting headaches after the movie. He eventually had surgery to fix the problem.
Christoph Waltz Was Casual About His Accident
Just like Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz got injured on the set of the movie Django Unchained. Waltz got hurt during training for the film, falling from his horse and dislocating his pelvis.
The two-time Oscar winner got back in the saddle after he healed and was pretty casual about his accident, saying that these risks come with the job.
Bruce Willis Got Kicked In The Face Accidentally
In the movie Live Free or Die Hard, Willis was hit by his co-star's stunt double. Willis got kicked in the face with a spiked heel just above his right eye during an action scene in a moving truck.
Willis, who had his share of on-set injuries during the four Die Hard movies, needed seven stitches across his eyebrow and into the corner of his eye.
Jaimie Alexander's Time In The MCU Was Almost Cut Short
Jaimie Alexander played Lady Sif in the movie Thor: Dark World, and while filming, she accidentally slipped on a metal staircase during heavy rain on the set. She suffered a herniated disc, dislocated her left shoulder, and tore her right rhomboid.
Alexander received immediate treatment, but things got worse the next day when she said she was paralyzed in her right leg and hand. She was in the hospital for a week and in rehab for a month before she could go back to finish her scenes.
Sienna Miller's Chest Caught Fire
The set of the movie G.I.Joe: The Rise Of Cobra was filled with injuries and bites, to main actors, including Channing Tatum and Jhonny Knoxville, but the accident that happened to Sienna Miller on the set was one of a kind.
Miller sustained an injury that can only be described as "flaming boobs." Her chest caught on fire after some pyrotechnics went awry in a scene.
Jackie Chan Fell Out Of A Tree And Had A Head Injury
Most people know that Jackie Chan has always done all of his own stunts, but that comes with the risk of getting injured. While filming Armour of God, Chan experienced yet another close call that could have put him out of commission.
While filming a scene, Chan would up falling out of a 16-foot tree. Unfortunately, the stunt ended with Chan being rushed into surgery, where a piece of his skull had to be removed from his brain. It seems like he is lucky to be alive.
Russell Crowe's Injury Ruined A Movie
While he was training for the movie Flora Plum in 1998, Russell Crowe injured his shoulder, which required surgery. Jody Foster was supposed to direct the film, but Crowe never returned, and it was never finished.
When Crowe starred in Cinderella Man, he dislocated the same shoulder. However, this time he recovered and was able to come back to finish the film. We may never know what happens in Flora Plum, but at least we have Cinderella Man.
Tom Hanks Got A Bad Infection While Filming Cast Away
Tom Hanks went through many changes in his body while filming the movie Cast Away. He gained a lot of weight and then had to lose it and grow a long beard. When filming started, Hanks got a blister on his knee that turned into a staph infection, and he was flown home to have treatment.
In another scene filmed in the water, a cable connecting Hanks's raft snapped, and the actor was set adrift. He said he was there for 40 minutes before someone rescued him. He wasn't in any danger, but he said it was freaky floating in the open ocean.
Charlize Theron Jumped And Fell On Her Neck
Early on, during filming for the movie Æon Flux, Theron performed a scene with several back handsprings when she landed on her neck, suffering a herniated disc between her third and fourth vertebrae. She was hospitalized for five days in Berlin.
Due to her severe injury and the fact that Theron suffered nerve damage, the production of the movie was delayed for six weeks to give her the time to heal and recover.
Ben Stiller Had To Get A Rabies Shot Because Of His Co-Star
One of the most famous characters in the movie Along Came Polly, besides Ben Stiller and Jeniffer Aniston, was the ferret that was Aniston's character's pet. In an interview promoting the film, both actors had confessed they don't like ferrets.
Unfortunately for them, in one of the scenes with the ferret, Stiller's character runs after Polly holding her it, and the ferret turns to him and bites his chin, but it refused to let go. Stiller had to get a rabies shot, and he refuses to work with another ferret.
Viggo Mortensen Stayed In Character After He Got Injured
During the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen did most of his stunts. The films had many injuries on set, but Mortensen broke two of his toes when he kicked a metal helmet during the second movie. He fell to the ground in pain and screaming, but they decided to keep it in the film.
The director of the movie, Peter Jackson, said that Mortensen turned his pain into a phenomenal performance. He also almost drown in the Battel of Helm's Deep scene and even chipped a tooth, but almost doesn't count for us.
Liam Hemsworth Tried To Fight Through The Pain Of His Injury
The Australian actor got injured on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Hemsworth sustained the injury when he kicked a styrofoam stone dummy and twisted his knee.
The actor suffered in pain but tried to continue with his scene and fight it because there were so many actors around that he didn't want to stop filming and let everyone down.
Nicole Kidman's Corset Was Way Too Tight
Nicole Kidman broke a rib and then re-broke it while she was strapped into a corset in the movie Moulin Rouge. She also tore her right knee during a dance number with co-star Ewan Mcgregor. It's not easy dancing in high heels.
Her knee injury was pretty bad and lasted a couple of years. However, as the professional that she is, Kidman said she didn't even feel the pain while acting, almost like an adrenaline rush.
Hugh Jackman Nearly Broke His Spine
Hugh Jackman is an incredible action star, and we can't imagine anyone else playing Wolverine. During the filming of the Wolverine movies, he was injured several times. In one instance, he almost snapped his spine while swimming into the window of a bullet train. His neck got stuck, and the crew stopped the scene to help him.
In X-Men, he injured his groin due to a harness mishap. He also smashed his ear into a stationary camera when the attached wire sent him off course. And that's not the end for this action movie star; in X2, he punctured his leg while running with the claws on.
Sean Astin Had To Be Flown To The Nearest Hospital
During Lord of the Rings, Sean Astin cut his food on a sharp object in the river during a scene where he was running to a boat. The director had to have Astin flown in a chopper to the nearest hospital, which was 90 minutes away.
Lord of the Rings was filmed in such a remote location, so they had to have medics on set if something happened, but any severe injury required a 90-minute flight because that was the only close hospital.
None Of Jim Caviezel's Stunts Went Right
Jim Caviezel went through a lot to star in The Passion of the Christ, directed by Mel Gibson. He suffered hypothermia, sustained gashes to his back from the scourging scenes and separated his shoulder carrying a giant cross.
However, that wasn't the end for Caviezel because he and assistant director Jan Michelini were struck by lightning. When they were interviewed about their experience, they said it felt like electricity went through their body. Note to our self -avoided filming on a mountain in heavy rain.
Ranveer Singh Got An Injury That Made Him More like His Character
In the 2014 Indian action film Gunday, Ranveer Singh fell off a platform during a dance scene and left him with a large gash on his cheek.
In an interview promoting the movie, Ranveer joked, "Now I'm even more in character for Gunday with an inimitable smile."
Linda Hamilton Forgot To Put Her Earplugs Back
During the famous elevator shootout scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Linda Hamilton forgot to put her earplugs back in between takes, and her ears took the full brunt of multiple gun blasts that were extremely loud. She still has permanent hearing loss.
"I fell to my knees in pain," said Hamilton, "I thought I'd been shot. The noise was so intense, so extreme; I'll never forget it." But like the pro that she is, Hamilton got up from her knees and finished the scene.
Daniel Craig Passed Out With A Bag Over His Head
Daniel Craig might be Mr. 007, but stunts can still go horribly wrong. On the set of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Craig is supposed to be lifted into the air, suffocating with a plastic bag over his head. It probably wasn't hard to act during this scene because he was actually being choked.
It turns out, Craig ultimately passed out with the bag over his head, and the director had to give him the rest of the day off to recover from this mistake. No matter what he is filming, he is bound to deal with some kind of occupational hazard.
Joel Edgerton And Tom Hardy
Joel Edgerton And Tom Hardy played boxers Warrior, which involves brutal fights that led to a few real injuries. Director Gavin O'Connor revealed that they had to get medical personnel on set more times than he can remember.
Edgerton blew out his knee and tore his ACL. Tom Hardy broke ribs, a finger, and toes, and there were plenty of black eyes and broken limbs.
A Rope Got A Little Too Tight Around Michael J. Fox's Neck
In Back to the Future III, Michael J. Fox had a hanging scene, and for some reason agreed to have the rope tied around his neck to make the scene more believable. Unfortunately, something went wrong, and Fox didn't get his hand into place in time to spare his neck from the noose.
"It took about 30 seconds before anyone noticed what happened," wrote Fox in his autobiography. If it lasted a few more seconds, the accident could have been fatal for the star.
Jon-Erik Hexum's Russian Roulette Scene Was Sadly Too Real
Jon-Erik Hexum was a 26-year-old actor who died in a tragic on-set accident in 1984. He played Russian roulette on a TV show and put a .44 magnum, which was loaded with blanks, to his head, and pulled the trigger.
The gun shattered Hexum's skull, forcing a bone fragment the size of a small coin into the center of his brain. After losing several pints of blood on the way to the hospital, and a five-hour surgery, the actor, went on life support. Six days later, Hexum was declared brain dead and passed away.
John Abraham Almost Got Shot... For Real
While filming Shootout At Wadala, actor Anil Kapoor fired a blank at his co-star John Abraham from close range, grazing Abraham's neck. Abraham was in a crouched position, and Kapoor's aim was off, sparing Abraham the fatal injuries like the one that killed actor Brandon Lee in 1993.
Abraham wasn't seriously injured, but he did suffer burns on his neck and ringing in his ears for 24 hours. Abraham considered the close call a reminder to check firearms on set even though firearms experts were present.